As COVID-19 hospitalizations rise, federal government sends hundreds of ventilators to Florida

Health care workers in Florida.

Health care workers in Florida. Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images

Hundreds of ventilators from the federal government’s Strategic National Stockpile have been sent to Florida, as the state deals with a surge in COVID-19 cases.

An official with the Department of Health and Human Services told NBC News Florida received 200 ventilators, 100 smaller breathing devices, and their related supplies. As of Tuesday, there are 14,787 COVID-19 patients hospitalized in Florida — 145 percent more than during the state’s last peak in July 2020, the Florida Hospital Association said. Almost 90 percent of intensive care unit beds and 85 percent of all patient beds are full, with public health officials saying most of the people hospitalized are unvaccinated.

The equipment was requested by local and state health officials, NBC News reports, and when asked about the ventilators being sent to Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) said he would “have to check to see if that’s true or not. I would honestly doubt that that’s true, but I’ll look.” Despite the rising number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, DeSantis will not reverse his ban on mask mandates.

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